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Scott Pianowski

Closing Time: Kansas City, here I come

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Knowing the small markets is always an important part of fantasy baseball; no matter the record, every club has something to offer. Today we'll take a look at the Kansas City Royals, the AL Central team you love to ignore.

The pesky Royals threw 11 runs and 13 hits at the White Sox Friday night and there's plenty of fantasy goodness to be had here if you just open your mind a little bit. David DeJesus(notes) set the table with a 5-2-2-0 line and is in the midst of a 17-game hitting streak. Miguel Olivo(notes) has the quietest 23 homer-season you ever did see; he's hit six of his dingers this month. Alberto Callaspo(notes) has a .313 average and 22 RBIs over the last month and qualifies at three infield positions; here's the perfect guy to consider for that first important slot off the bench. And Brad Evans wants you to know that Billy Butler(notes) has been a .316/.381//528 monster in the second half, with 44 RBIs in 56 games. You don't have to do a lot of digging here before you hit gold.

A.J. Burnett(notes) has been a train wreck in the second half but he at least temporarily stopped the bleeding Friday at Seattle, working seven excellent innings (1 R, 3 BB, 6 K). Burnett was in line for a win before the game found it's stunning conclusion; Ichiro Suzuki(notes) whacked a two-run homer off Mariano Rivera(notes) in the bottom of the ninth, making a winner out of Felix Hernandez(notes). I can't fully endorse Burnett against the Angels next week, but at least you can consider him, depending on your situation.

There's not much on the Sunday streaming table but I'll at least sign off on Felipe Paulino(notes), who's given us three respectable turns in a row (17 IP, 14 H, 5 R, 6 BB, 20 K). He might not have the best shot of a win at Milwaukee and against Yovani Gallardo(notes), but I think we'll get some quality innings out of this one. Another viable option is Kevin Correia(notes); he's coming off three respectable outings of his own and the matchup is digestible enough (at Pittsburgh).

Injury Blog: Shane Victorino(notes) is still dealing with a stomach bug and didn't play Friday; consider him day-to-day through the weekend. … J.A. Happ(notes) (oblique) only worked three innings in his return to the mound Friday and although he says he's fine, you have to wonder if he might be skipped again next week. … Huston Street(notes) (biceps) had a decent session on Friday and is likely to rejoin the Rockies on Sunday, though he might not go back to the closing role immediately. … Josh Hamilton(notes) (back) could be another week away from rejoining the Rangers lineup; given how quickly Texas has fallen out of the playoff race, there might not be a case for using him at this point. Ron Washington isn't going to rush Michael Young(notes) (hamstring) back to action, either. … Ryan Howard(notes) took a pitch on the forearm Friday and might need a day of rest on the weekend. … Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) (knee) didn't start Friday but was able to pinch hit . . . Jarrod Washburn(notes) (knee) is headed for a consultation with Dr. Lewis Yocum, which is seldom good news. Nate Robertson(notes) steps into the Sunday start at Minnesota. … Andy Pettitte(notes) (shoulder) threw Friday and should be able to make his Monday turn against Los Angeles.

Speed Round: Andrew Bailey(notes) needed a day off Friday so Brad Ziegler(notes) closed for the Athletics, saving it for Brett Anderson(notes) (6 IP, 10 K). … Brian Fuentes(notes) has worked in three straight games and 5-of-7 days overall so look for him to get a rest Saturday. He's recovered nicely from Wednesday's squeeze job, recording a save in the last two Angel wins. … John Smoltz(notes) (shoulder) didn't look bad after a 10-day layoff, allowing two runs to the Cubs over six innings. The Cardinals also got a strong inning from Ryan Franklin(notes) (scoreless inning, two Ks); Franklin got the win courtesy of Matt Holliday's(notes) walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth. … Juan Gutierrez(notes) was a little shaky Friday (three base runners, one run) but nonetheless escaped with his sixth save of the year. … Yunel Escobar(notes) hit the bench early Friday after failing to run out a ground ball. "He just has lapses, where I think he forgets," Bobby Cox said with a shrug. … I'd like to say something nice about Luke Hochevar's(notes) shutout of the White Sox but he was hammered in his three previous turns and I'm simply not buying. … It's Rajai Davis'(notes) world, we're all just living in it (two hits, walk, steal No. 40).

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